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MEDIA ADVISORY: Mizzou Students Promote Advantages of Show Me State Cotton in Apparel

December 8th, 2010

Story Contact: Nathan Hurst, 573-882-6217, hurstn@missouri.edu

By Brad Fischer

WHAT: Missouri produced more than 800,000 bales of cotton in 2008, according to the National Cotton Council, accounting for more than 6 percent of national cotton production. Now, University of Missouri students are presenting a new marketing program and brand to raise the profile and prestige of the state’s cotton for use in apparel and accessories.

MU seniors in the Department of Textile and Apparel Management in the College of Human Environmental Sciences are proposing a new business idea to four apparel companies: Ralph Lauren, Vera Bradley, J. Crew and The Buckle. The proposal centers on a new brand created by the team– Heartland Premium. The brand seeks to promote apparel made from Missouri’s high-quality cotton.

“This project is important for students as well as cotton communities in Missouri as it makes a direct link between our students and cotton farmers,” said Jung Ha-Brookshire, assistant professor of textile & apparel management in the College of Human Environmental Sciences. “The project provides students with a complete perspective of the product supply chain, while offering farmers a chance to understand what it takes to brand and retail consumer products made from cotton fibers.”

The marketing and branding of Heartland Premium was created as a result of research conducted by MU faculty members, including Ha-Brookshire, Pamela Norum and Kitty Dickerson. Their research shows consumers prefer products made from U.S.-grown cotton because of its quality and consumers’ desire to support domestic businesses.

Southeastern Missouri cotton farmers and collaborators from the Missouri Department of Agriculture and Bayer CropScience Center will attend.

WHO: Textile & Apparel Management graduating seniors

WHERE: Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center, Room 572

WHEN: 3 p.m.- 5:30 p.m. Dec. 8, 2010

NOTE: This event is free and open to the public. If media wish to attend, please contact Nathan Hurst at 573-882-6217.

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